Recently, a friend gave me a sheep’s fleece. She knows I’ve gotten into spinning in a big way and she knows a farmer. Anyway, before I knew it, I was dragging a smelly bag of fleece into the house (much to the delight of my husband and kids – not.) But I was excited, and I couldn’t wait to get started processing it!
The first thing I had to figure out was how to skirt the fleece. This process proved slightly trickier than I had thought. How can you identify a usable piece of fleece from an unusable piece? I guess trial and error, and experience! (The link above is one I found useful, as well as info from here and here.)
So once I had skirted the fleece and picked out the best fibres, I gave it a bath! It was pretty mucky at first.
I used Fairy liquid as it’s quite mild, and the hottest water out of the tap (our water gets quite hot). After another bath and a couple of rinses, it was beginning to look fluffy and more desirable (not to mention it smelled better!).
I don’t have any outdoor space to allow my newly-washed fleece to dry properly, so I laid it on a towel and stuck it in the entryway near the front door.
My husband, as usual, had other ideas:
It feels gloriously soft and lofty. Later this week I’ll begin combing and carding it, and eventually I’ll spin it up into a gorgeous yarn!